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Ohio Auto Defect Attorney

investigating Defective Fuel Systems Resulting in Explosions & Consumer Loss

Over 200 hundred people in the United States are killed in automobile fire deaths each year, and many of the preventable accidents are the result of defective car parts like a faulty fuel system.

According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are around 150,000 automobile fires each year, thousands of which are caused by auto fuel system defects, leading to numerous severe injuries and fatalities. It is estimated that defective fuel systems installed in cars cause up to 15 percent of all car fire deaths.

The fires and explosions that these defects cause are likely to result in severe burn injuries and even death. In many cases, car explosions are linked to fuel leaks after an accident. Fuel leaks can be attributed to a faulty design and positioning of the fuel tank system. In addition, there may be a lack of tank protection, increasing the possibility of a puncture and subsequent risk of fire.

Following a car accident involving a fire or explosion, victims should contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to investigate.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced Ohio personal injury attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact such an accident has on a victim’s life and family. 

Defective Car Fuel System

Some of the world’s largest automakers have been involved in litigation for producing faulty fuel systems that have resulted in fires and serious injuries. Toyota, Ford Motor and General Motors have each been named in lawsuits that allege the companies were responsible for their vehicles catching fire and injuring drivers and passengers.

In the past, fuel system defects were seen in some Ford and General Motors models, where the fuel tanks were located outside the frame rail. Experts determined this design flaw directly led to the vehicles catching fire and exploding during or after collisions.

Between 1973 and 2000, improper placement of fuel tanks was responsible for more than 1,000 people killed in fire-related accidents. The Ford Motor Company has been involved in numerous lawsuits over a faulty fuel tank design, which made the tank at a high risk for rupture during a rear-end collision.

More recently, Toyota recalled over 2.8 million vehicles for possible cracks in the fuel tank. Toyota said cracks in the evaporative fuel emissions control unit could cause fuel to leak when filling up the tanks. Toyota admitted a manufacturing error was to blame. Prius models, as well as Auris, Corolla, Zelas, Lucas and Lexus models manufactured from 2006 through 2015 may be affected.

Another fire risk was discovered from the fuel lines linking the tank to the engine. Fuel-injected engines require fuel to pass through fuel lines at high pressure, and a small leak in a fuel line can result in a large amount of fuel escaping.

Most fuel-injected engines have electric fuel pumps, and in the event of a collision, it is crucial that the pumps shut down. If the pump continues to operate, gasoline will continue to circulate and potentially feed any resulting fire or heat source.

Common Types of Fuel System Defects

Some recent examples of fuel tank design defects include the following:

  • Fuel tank systems may not have a “cut-off” device to stop the flow of gas after a collision
  • Poor welding work that may cause the tank to rupture
  • Separation of the gas line from tank or fuel pump
  • Improper location of fuel tank on vehicle
  • Failing or deteriorating tank material
  • No tank protection or inadequate shielding of tank from possible collision

Gas Tank Explosion Accidents

Defective fuel tanks and fuel pump system design can lead to severe injuries or deaths of motorists and passengers involved in accidents. Injured victims may be able to file claims against auto manufacturers for producing a vehicle with an unreasonable risk of catching fire.

Manufacturers of cars, trucks and SUVs have a legal duty to produce safe vehicles and ensure the protection of drivers and passengers before or after an accident. After contacting an automobile product liability attorney to investigate, compensation may be recovered for the following:

  • Emergency medical costs
  • Future medical expenses and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Past and future physical pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages.
  • In the event of a fatality, surviving families may file a wrongful death lawsuit


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing fuel system defects
A Voice for Those who have suffered
Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Auto Fuel System Defects

Can I File an Auto Defect Lawsuit?

You may not be aware that your car is defective. It is not always obvious when your seat belt or other safety component fails to function as intended. It can take an expert in auto engineering to determine what contributed to an accident or injury.

You can contact The Lyon Firm, and we will work diligently to review your auto accident case. If an auto defect was in part responsible for an auto injury, a lawsuit can be filed and a large settlement is likely.

If negligent manufacturers and automakers are directly responsible for an auto-related injury, a product liability and personal injury lawsuit may be filed and compensation may be recovered for accident victims. Plaintiffs may seek compensation that may include property damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings, and pain and suffering.

The Lyon Firm takes pride in representing consumers to make America’s roads safer by holding negligent auto manufacturers accountable for auto defects that lead to accidents and injuries. When car makers fail to institute basic safety measures and fail to test auto components before releasing cars tot he public, they may be targeted in product liability lawsuits.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Has My Car Been Recalled?

Consumers can follow recall news or search for current and past recalls on the Web sites of the NHTSA, as well as on other car safety advocate outlets. Look on your car windshield for a 17-character Vehicle Identification Number. Your VIN is also located on your car’s registration card.

If your car has been recalled and you have suffered an injury, contact an auto defect attorney to investigate a potential claim

Did an Auto Defect Cause my Accident?

Auto defects have been known to cause accidents in tire failure, tread separation accidents, brake malfunction and sudden acceleration cases.

Auto defects may not cause every accident, but they can play an integral part in causing injury in the event of an accident. This is common in defective seat back collapse, seat belt defects and airbag defects. When these crucial safety features fail to function as they were intended.

Who is Responsible for Auto Defects?

Auto manufacturers and car makers can be held liable in auto defect lawsuits. Many automakers outsource some of their production and may not always be aware of some defects. Honda, for example, purchased all their defective airbags from Takata.

Some defective auto part suits name other defendants like negligent auto dealerships or auto repair shops who alter car parts or fail to properly repair automobiles and leave a serious safety risk.

What Cars are Defective?

The list of defective automobiles changes each year, and it is more likely that certain components are defective rather than an entire brand name. Nowadays many car makers use the same third-party suppliers, which compounds safety issues when a defective auto part is produced.

Why Hire a Product Liability Attorney?

An Auto Defect Lawyer can assist in not only reviewing your accident and injury case, but is able to hold large corporations accountable for the negligent actions in releasing unsafe products to the public.

Auto companies must be held liable in order to keep the roads safe in America. So not only can The Lyon Firm seek compensation for injured plaintiffs, but we can file lawsuits to punish car makers for failing to properly test their auto parts before they are sold to the public.

When car makers fail to produce reliable cars and fail to provide basic road safety features, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and product liability attorneys can hold them responsible and help mitigate injuries and future damages.

The majority of accidents and injuries on the road are preventable, but defective auto design and manufacturing defects may leave victims with huge medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in many cases, permanent injuries.

Auto Defect Settlements

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.